We are truly living in interesting times. Religious skepticism has captured the interest of major local newspapers. Almost every week, articles expressing skepticism about the core tenets of Christianity are getting published in our dailies, sparking much debate.
In his article ‘Did Jesus Really Resurrect’ published on Sunday April 4th 2010 in the Sunday Monitor, Robert Kalumba writes:
It’s these inconsistencies in the resurrection story told by the gospels that have raised the question of whether Jesus really rose from the dead. Some argue that the different story variations, whereas they raise some eyebrows, if read carefully only enhance the fact that the son of man actually rose from the dead. They argue that the gospels differ on the actual events but tell a similar story all through – that Jesus resurrected.
However, some point at the inaccuracies that spread even to Jesus’ ascendency to heaven and argue that they are more than “small variations” in the resurrection story. According to Mark 16; 14-19, Jesus ascended to heaven while He and the disciples were seated at a table in Jerusalem. But the Gospel of Matthew doesn’t mention Jesus’ ascension to heaven at all. Now for such an event to fail to get mention in a gospel that talks about Jesus’ life is kind of odd. Same goes for the gospel according to John. No mention of such an event whatsoever.
According to the gospel of Luke, Jesus actually ascended to heaven on the same day of His resurrection (Luke24; 50-51) but John claims he ascended 40 days after his resurrection and not at a table as stated by the Gospel of Matthew, but from the Mount of Olives!
These are some serious contradictions. If the gospels can’t get it right on Jesus’ story, should we believe the accuracy of His resurrection?
Meanwhile Kevin O’Connor, on Sunday, March 14th 2010, in his article ‘Missionaries brought already damaged goods to Uganda’, also in the Sunday Monitor, wrote:
Darwin described the processes of evolution and natural selection which, by inference, drove a “cart and horses through” (i.e. showed as nonsense) important parts of the Bible’s Old Testament, such as Adam and Eve.
Kevin’s conversion: This triumph of science and reason over religious superstition meant that 20 years later, when Father Lourdel and Brother Amans arrived here, the missionaries were bringing already damaged goods to Uganda. 115 years after Father Lourdel, Roving Eye, arrived in Uganda. At that time, I was an agnostic (someone who is not sure whether there is a God or not). Uganda, however, converted me from an agnostic into an atheist (someone who believes there is no God).
Where was God: Uganda is the most church-going country I have ever lived in, yet also the most corrupt. In other words, going to church and the influence of Christian prayer and preaching seem to do little to reduce corrupt “eating”. The Rwandan Genocide took place a few months before my arrival. So where was God during this genocide and during the Nazi Holocaust, the 2006 Asian Tsunami, the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes etc? Asleep? Gone for lunch? On holiday? Otherwise engaged?
Wow. Are these stories actually running in Ugandan news media? Yes.
It is indeed encouraging to see that we are moving into an era where religious skepticism is not only being tolerated, but is growing in popularity, and creating an atmosphere of healthy debate.